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resume review and wording

My first full time job after graduating university was a research analyst role at a small investment office, which later shut down because the portfolio manager wanted to retire (i worked there for about 2+ years). It took me a while to find my next job (about 4 months unemployed) but I recently started a new job in the operations department of a large investment management firm. I am grateful to have found something because for a while i was feeling really down and felt like any job was a miracle. Now that I’ve been working in this new role for a bit I’ve realized that my knowledge, past experience, and ambition are most suited for a front office type role. i want to get out of operations hell. i want to feel challenged again and to know what i do and say will make a difference and that i matter to the team. i just want to feel like i have some sort of say as opposed to being a pawn in everyone else’s work. 

i continue to look for better opportunities but i just feel like my resume lack spark. i feel that my past experience as a research analyst has taught me a lot regarding portfolio management and market analysis but it’s difficult to make my past experience stand out particularly because i worked at a firm that no one has ever heard of. i’m afraid that because it’s an unknown firm people will automatically discount my experience and knowledge. for example, on my resume i wrote “produced investment strategies in various sectors by examining macroeconomic data, sector research, company information, and past and projected earnings.” this is what i really did but when i write it on my resume its just so blahhhh.

Can someone give me some feedback about how i can make my small firm research analyst experience stand out. also, how can i make a backoffice experience relevant when i’m trying to apply for a front office job.

any help would be greatly appreciated!

if you’re in nyc, pm me. 

If not, here are my suggestions;

I would like to see very specific achievements and methods you used when you were a research analyst. First I would briefly in a sentence or two - under the company name on the resume - describe the type of investment manager…Is it a financial advisory firm, a hedge fund, a PE fund and how much AUM at its peak….

Second, write which sectors and companies you’ve covered…Also mention your research method(s) - top down, bottom up, or full in house fundamental or use sell side research reports to come up with your own report (case for most of advisory shops although they do this with mutual funds mostly).

Third, do you have experience presenting your ideas to senior mgmt of your company or investors (for advisory shops)?

I’ll be blunt here, if you did your research at an advisory shop, the chances of you landing as a research analyst at either mutual fund, PE, or HF is very slim…for now of course.  

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Thanks for your feedback. unfortunately i don’t live in nyc :(

a little more background of my last job: it was a hedge fund with a small AUM (all from the portfolio manager), think point 72 but much smaller. i covered all the sectors cause we only had two analysts (4 ppl shop). since it was a small shop i presented all my ideas to the PM directly. we were a top down fund so we used a lot of independent research and sometimes sell side research to guide our thesis. we used valuation models to compare companies that fit into our thesis and then make decision relating to investment. my PM was a partner at a large BB wall street firm for many years of his career. he “retired” and started his own shop with the intention of growing and marketing it.. but that plan fell short. 

I’ve been there man.

I’m surprised that you didn’t have an easier time getting a front office role while having previous front office experience in hand. Being a generalist at a hedge fund gives you a tremendous amount of options as to how to market yourself. So, I would say that you most likely have the past experience and skills to earn a more competitive finance job. It seems that you maybe struggled in selling yourself to employers. Which is incongruous to me, careeradvice, because, by what you wrote and the way you wrote it, I like you. 

This may be controversial, but I would consider using wallstreetoasis’ resume review service. It cost me $200 but I was left with a resume that I felt very confident in sending out to potential employers. I came from a non-traditional background and had not very desirable work experience but was able to get a job as an equity research associate at a middle market bank. My success was owed in part to the review service–they would be able to work with your experience and put resume bullets together that make you a stronger candidate.

How did you get the job at the hedge fund? It must’ve been competitive right out of college, surely. You must have some salesmanship ability. Do you have a personal relationship with the founder? If so, you should ask him to help in placement. If not, you should still try to network with him.

I think the main key is that OP did not work for a hedge fund but a family office.

For me it wouldn’t matter because it is all about what you did….But for most firms’ HR, family office is approached with caution.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

yes indeed it was a family office but it had the intention of turning into a hedge fund from the beginning (just didn’t turn out that way unfortunately). i first got my research analyst job by interning at the firm for two summers. when i applied to be an intern i wrote a 10 page equity research report on a stock of my preference and attached it with my application to show employers that despite not having any relevant experience, i was willing to put time and effort into something that i said i was interested in. I do still have a relationship with the founder but i’m really not good at asking for favors or reaching out for connections because i don’t want to make them feel obligated or uncomfortable. I will start to revamp my resume and put in more specifically what i did at the firm. if anyone else has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance 

dude don’t feel bad about asking for favors…If the founder find it to be annoying, he/she will just ignore you and/or your email.  Doesn’t hurt to ask….Only you have your own back in this funny world where everyone wants everything for nothing…Gotta ask for everything. Ask for 100, politely and respectfully, and get 1 is better than not asking and getting nothing.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

careeradvice wrote:

I do still have a relationship with the founder but i’m really not good at asking for favors or reaching out for connections because i don’t want to make them feel obligated or uncomfortable. 

Need to change that mindset ASAP if you want to get the highly coveted roles 

what do you guys think about family office experience on the resume. i know infinitybenzo mentioned that it’s a flag for HR departments so does that mean an automatic reject even without first round interview, or does it all depend on the experience at the family office. the obvious answer is if i have skills and is able to convey that then i should be able to get an interview but i dont want to have the words “family office” to ruin my chances from the start. 

HRs for the most part are clueless…They are nothing more than programmed humans…”look for mutual funds or hedge fund people…Look for equity focused or fixed income people…Look for top schools…Look for either an MBA or MS” 

Having said that, if you know what you’re doing and you have objectionable progress and results you can show and tell then it is only a matter of time before you land a full time research role.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.